The market for sex toys continues to grow every year, an indication that they are gaining acceptance. TechySex.com recently published a study on the search volume for sex toys online across Europe. They compared the search behavior of Europeans with that in the United States. And the Dutch are surprisingly often (or maybe not) in the top 5.
The purpose of the study was to “determine which geographic regions perform the most Google searches for adult products relative to their population,” according to the published report.
To determine this, they analyzed search volumes for four popular types of sex toys: vibrators, dildos, penis rings and masturbation sleeves. They also analyzed related searches with keywords such as “sex toys” or “erotic goods”. All keywords were examined in English and in the languages spoken in the respective country.
Sweden recorded a total volume of 1,485 estimated monthly searches per 100,000 adults during the study. This is twice higher than any other participating country in Europe and three times higher than all states in the United States.
In general, states in the U.S. showed very uniform search volumes and a relatively small deviation from the average. In Europe, the deviation was much greater, with northern countries generally leading the way and outperforming search volumes in the US.
How is the Netherlands doing?
To see the total interest in sex toys, the researchers added up the search volumes of all keywords studied. This value was then divided to account for the population in the respective country. The final number shows the average number of estimated monthly searches per 100,000 adults.
As mentioned, Sweden leads the top in Europe with 1,485 searches per 100,000 inhabitants. The Netherlands ranks sixth in this list, with 657 searches per 100,000 residents. Belgium, by the way, ranks 13th. By comparison; the top-ranking state in the U.S. is West Virginia with 748 searches per 100,000 residents.
The rankings do differ when looking at specific search terms. The most purchased sex toy is the vibrator. The keyword vibrator was most popular in Estonia, Poland and the Netherlands, respectively. For the keyword ‘dildo,’ the Netherlands ranked fourth, after Norway, Sweden and Denmark. The keyword ‘penis ring’ is also popular in the Netherlands. With this keyword, we are again in third place, after Iceland and Hungary.
Oddly enough, the Netherlands “scores” quite low when it comes to the keyword “masturbator” or “penis sleeve”. The highest ranked countries are Switzerland, the United Kingdom and Finland. With this keyword, the Netherlands reaches 14th place.
Is there an explanation?
Interestingly, there seems to be a relationship in Europe between Gross Domestic Product and interest in sex toys. Countries with higher GDP countries per capita show greater interest in sex toys
A possible other explanation for the popularity of sex toys by country – besides income – could be religion. Although not researched, the search term “vibrator” for example, scores very high in Catholic countries, such as Poland, Italy and Portugal.
Interestingly, countries known for their sex drive – such as France and Brazil – rank very low on these searches. Usually they are not even in the top 10.
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